Zoe Smallwood

Zoe SmallwoodDegree: MChem Chemistry

Graduate role: PhD Researcher and Graduate Teaching Assistant, The University of Sheffield

After completing her first degree, Zoe decided to stay with us for her PhD, and helps out with teaching our new undergraduates.

"One of the things I liked about Sheffield right from my very first open day was the campus and city themselves; Sheffield has everything a city has to offer, but the city and campus feel very compact and friendly. I’ve always found the University to be incredibly friendly, welcoming and supportive. There is always something going on, either in the Student’s Union or in one of the many societies and sports teams; I’m a member of the trampolining club and also write for the department’s student-run magazine in my spare time.

"In the department itself, I found the small-group tutorials in first year a really great way to reinforce the material learnt in lectures, and ask any questions in more detail. As part of my third year I shadowed a research technician in the department, allowing me to see the work involved in the running of the department’s teaching and research labs. My fourth year research project was a fantastic way to put into practice the theory and skills I had learnt in the previous years, and it was this project that made me realise I definitely wanted to do a PhD in chemistry.

"I am now in the first year of my PhD in inorganic chemistry at Sheffield. I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant, which means I demonstrate in the undergraduate teaching labs as part of my PhD; this is a great experience and very rewarding."